Countless lives have been lost in recent years due to the opioid epidemic but with the help of Naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, the tide may be turning.
In recent years, the world has lost the lives of notable celebrities such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Joan Rivers, and most recently, rock legend Prince. Not to mention, the 28,000 lives that were claimed by heroin or prescription opioid overdoses in 2014, the most recent year that statistics are available for. When it comes to the opioid epidemic, no one is immune.
Who Needs Naloxone?
Naloxone is used to prevent overdoses of opioids from drugs like heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. When a person who is addicted to opioids is showing the first signs of overdose, the person next to him can help him by giving him Naloxone. It can be given via intranasal spray, intravenous injection, intramuscular or subcutaneous. If your loved one is living with an addiction to heroin or prescription drugs, their life can be potentially saved by keeping Naloxone in your home or on your person.
The Controversy of Naloxone
Although many people agree that Naloxone can be one of the best chances to decreasing deaths caused by opioid overdoses, others believe that by giving Naloxone is like giving a “free pass” to people with substance use disorders to continue their use of risky substances. They believe there are other ways to treat addiction.
Since this is such a controversial drug, many studies have been made to see whether Naloxone can be beneficial or, on the other hand, can cause more harm than good. One fact is certain: Naloxone has already helped prevent many opioid overdose deaths.
Where to Buy Naloxone in America
Because of all these differences of opinions, the access to Naloxone varies from state to state. There are states where you can buy Naloxone without any problems, others where you can carry this drug without any criminal liabilities, and even others where you can only get it with a prescription.
* States where you can buy Naloxone without a prescription:
– Long Island
– South Carolina
– North Dakota
– New Jersey
* States where you can carry Naloxone without criminal liabilities:
– North Dakota
– New Hampshire
– West Virginia
– Rhode Island
– New York
– New Jersey
And the differences don’t stand just here. There are also differences between the different states regarding how you can access Naloxone. Not so long ago, Naloxone could only be accessed through hospitals, clinics, paramedics, or first responders. Now, depending on the state, you can get Naloxone at CVS, Ralphs, Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Target.
Another difference that has been seen is the fact that some states believe that public schools should also have access to Naloxone since it’s one of the ways to combat the epidemic that is facing our country. There are already 4 states – Delaware, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York -that are testing this measure by giving access of Naloxone to a nurse.